Roulette belongs to the most played casino games, for more details about this game, its history, rules, strategies, bets etc, you can check the article ‘Roulette’ on our NativeCasinos website. French roulette or a French wheel game is among the most popular types of the roulette game along with European and American variants.
This expert review serves to comprehensively inform you about French roulette, precisely its difference from European and American variants based on the peculiarities of the French roulette wheel. Besides, you’ll get to know everything about the French roulette rules, roulette French bets etc. for you to be perfectly prepared for playing French roulette when it comes to real money gambling.
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French roulette is basically the original variant of roulette since this casino game was invented in France. In French, ”roulette” means a ”little wheel” that’s why roulette is also known as a wheel game. French roulette was mostly played in Monte Carlo gambling houses.
What’s so particular about French roulette online compared to other variants of this game category? First of all, French roulette table drastically differs. Secondly, it’s really the best option for gamblers since the house advantage in this game type is the lowest compared to other roulette games, it’s only 1.35%.
French roulette is really similar to the European version since it’s played on the European wheel with 37 number pockets, from 0 to 36. While all the number pockets are colored red and black, the single zero pocket is green in order to avoid confusion when it comes to betting and deciding the game outcome.
So, the main difference between French and American wheel lies in the number of zero pockets – one on the French wheel and two on the American. Another difference between these game types lie in the way the number pockets are distributed on the wheel. While they are paired and located oppositely in the American version, in the French roulette the numbers are distributed in exactly the same way as it is in the European wheel, which is quite random, just check it yourself: 0 32 15 19 4 21 2 25 17 34 6 27 13 36 11 30 8 23 10 5 24 16 33 1 20 14 31 9 22 18 29 7 28 12 35 3 26.
In addition, the betting procedure is also slightly different in the French roulette compared to the American version. In the French variant, the outside bets are split in two parts and located on both sides on the table, while in the American roulette all the outside bets are placed on the left. More info regarding different bets types you can check in the corresponding section below.
As you might have already known or managed to guess, the main idea of the game is to predict the number pocket where the ball will land after the croupier spins it in the opposite direction from spinning the wheel. The only way to predict it is to place respective bets. If your bet wins, you get paid after each round.
The game basically originates from a primitive game invented in the seventeenth century by Blaise Pascal. His idea was to create a perpetual motion machine that would stopplessly provide free everlasting energy. That’s basically how the French roulette wheel was invented shortly after that, precisely in 1720.
Another hypothesis concerning how the game was invented is attributed to the French and Italian “cheating game” Biribi, which is also known as a game of luck that is similar by its nature to low bets lotto and lottery.
Regarding the first references of French roulette, there can also be the legal regulations adopted in 1758 in Québec or New France that imposed a ban of “dice, hoca, faro, and roulette”. That’s why we can suppose that French roulette already existed in the early eighteenth century and it may well have existed even before.
According to the official records, French roulette was first played in Paris, in the Palais Royal. It happened in 1796.
In 1801, the game was described by a French writer Jaques Lablee in his novel “La Roulette, ou le Jour” that was published in the same year. Here’s what he wrote about the game: “There are exactly two slots reserved for the bank, whence it derives its sole mathematical advantage” and the layout “two betting spaces containing the bank’s two numbers, zero and double zero”. Based on the way he described the game, we can understand that it was quite similar to the modern American version since it has two zero pockets with a single and double zero.
On the original French roulette wheel, there was a red single zero pocket and black double zero pocket. As you might have known already, nowadays zero pockets are green. Zero pockets were recolored because of the confusion since zero pocket results in a loss, while both red and black pockets can grant you victory. That’s why there was a need to solve this problem by recoloring zero pockets into green ones.
The modern French roulette was introduced in 1843 when famous gambling brothers François and Louis Blanc invented a single zero wheel. The first time a single zero roulette was played in Bad Homburg, which is a German casino. Since then, it has become popular in all the casinos across Europe and the world except for the American roulette where the double zero pocket remained. Basically, it was in 1843 when the French wheel was adjusted to the way it looks now.
French roulette gained its popularity right after the French Revolution. Since then it had been played in all French gambling houses and started spreading first across Europe and then across the world. Since the early nineteenth century, French roulette has become a popular casino game across the world.
How to play?
Place a bet on the table layout;
Make announced bets by placing enough chips on the table to cover the wager;
Choose either the full/maximum or full/complete bet. Keep in mind there can be twelve bets in one. Mind that’s the last chance to place a bet since your bets can be overruled in case you don’t place them on time;
Wait for the croupier saying ‘No More Bets’, spinning the wheel and dropping the ball on the wheel;
When the ball finally falls into a certain number pocket, the winning bets are determined. Losing bets are collected by the croupier. Winning bets remain on the table.
Winning bets get paid. Mind that there are really many winning combinations in French roulette, so you have a really high chance to get payments!
Once all the winning bets are paid, you can start it over again.
Mind there are a few rules that are typical only for French roulette:
En Prison comes into effect when the ball falls on the zero pocket and your bet is placed either on color or even or odd number. Using this rule, the stake can be left on the table for the next spin. However, your stake must be returned if the ball falls in the slot that you’ve predicted correctly.
La Partage is the rule that is extremely similar to En Prison. If the ball falls on the zero pocket and you’ve placed a bet on even numbers, you can get back half of your stake.
There are two main types of bets in French roulette, which are inside and outside bets. Inside bets are usually paid more than outside because they have less winning probability. Below you can check different types of both inside and outside bets along with their descriptions.
En plein is placed directly on any single number including a zero pocket;
En Chaval features two adjacent numbers, is placed on the line between them, including a zero pocket;
Carre Simple or Transversale features three numbers in a row, is placed on the line at the end of the row;
Carre features four numbers, is placed at the corner where these four numbers touch;
Sixain features six numbers or two rows of three numbers, is placed either at the end of two rows or on the border between them.
Colonne features an entire column, is placed on the 2-1 box at the end of the selected column;
Dozen Bet features 12 numbers group, is placed on the first with number pockets from 1 to 12 (Premiere Douzaine), on the second box with number pockets from 13 to 24 (Moyenne Douzaine), or the third box with number pockets from 25 to 36 (Dernier Douzaine);
Bet on Color (Rouge or Noir) features either all red numbers or all black numbers, is placed either on the red or black box respectively;
Odd (Impair) or Even (Pair) bet features either all even numbers or all odd numbers, is placed either on the even or one the odd box respectively;
Low (Manque) or High (Passe) bet features either all low numbers (from 1 to 18) or all high numbers (from 19 to 36), is placed either on the low or high box respectively.
Interested in payouts and odds of each of these bets? Just check the table below.
35 to 1
2 to 1
17 to 1
2 to 1
Carre Simple or Transversale
11 to 1
Bet on Color (Rouge or Noir)
1 to 1
8 to 1
Impair / Pair bet
1 to 1
5 to 1
Manque / Passe bet
1 to 1
Unlike other roulette types, in French roulette there are also such a bet type as French Bets that are also known as call bets or announced bets. Familiarize yourself with them in the list below:
Voisins du Zero represents all the numbers on the wheel from 22 and 25, translates to neighbors of zero, allows betting nine chips on such combinations as splits, corners, and trios within the number range of 22-25;
Le Tiers du Cylindre represents all the numbers that are opposite to zero, ranges twelve number pockets from 27 to 33, translates to thirds of the wheel, allows betting six chips that you can place to cover the mentioned range of number pockets;
Orphelins represents eight numbers that aren’t included in the previously mentioned bets, translates to orphans, allows betting five chips that can be placed on four splits and a single number slot.
FAQ about French roulette
The main difference lies in the wheel and number pockets. There are two zero pockets (a single zero pocket and a double zero pocket) in the American version and only one single zero pocket in the French version.
Not really. French roulette is quite similar to the European version indeed, yet in French roulette there are additional rules that are absent in any other roulette type. These rules are known as En Prison and La Partage, and they are highly beneficial for the players.
Nowadays, you can play French roulette free as well as its real money version literally in all online casinos. However, you need to be aware that if you choose real money gambling, do stick to the list with our recommendations in order to avoid scam casinos as well as financial and safety risks.
Well, almost. In French roulette, there are the same inside and outside bets that you can also place in the European version. Compared to the American version, here there is no Five bet since there’s no double zero pocket on the French wheel. In addition, in the French roulette, there are the bets which are absent in all the other roulette variations known as French Bets, call bets or announced bets. There are three types of French bets: Voisins du Zero, Le Tiers du Cylindre, and Orphelins.
Of course! As you are playing with a live dealer, you can evidently communicate with the dealer as well as with other gamblers in the French chat roulette, which will make your roulette playing experience even closer to the exciting real life gambling!
In conclusion, French is the oldest roulette game out of which other types of roulette game evolved, including American and European versions. French roulette is very similar to the European version because of the wheel, yet it has a few peculiarities reflected in its additional rules, which are En Prison and La Partage. Besides, in the French version, there are so-called French Bets that are also known as call bets or announced bets. Owing to these extra rules as well as extra bets, French roulette is the most appealing gambling option since it grants more winning chances to the players!